Imagine a room above an archway in an ancient hilltop village, within ancient castle walls. You lean from the window and watch the swallows dart to and fro; there are rondini inside too, captured in a 200-year-old fresco. The way through the arch – the via del Vento (‘where the wind blows’) – and the front door to this captivating house await just the other side. Step into a lovely room, a study in white – fresh lilies and snowy walls and sofas – dotted with family antiques and paintings. Fulvia and Carlo are warm, interesting hosts who have lovingly restored the house to its original splendour. The delightfully different bedrooms have wrought-iron bedheads, big mirrors and some original stencilling. Several, like the Swallow Room, have pale frescoes. All have good views. The little apartment, too, is simple, charming, peaceful. Just across the cobbled street is a walled garden with lemon trees – an idyllic place for breakfast on sunny mornings. A short walk brings you to the square where village ladies sit playing cards, children scamper and the church bell rings every hour, on the hour.